What happened

Shares of Chinese electric-vehicle maker Kandi Technologies (KNDI -0.79%) were trading lower on Friday afternoon, two days after a surprise rally that more than doubled its share price. 

As of 3:15 p.m. EDT, Kandi's American depositary shares were down about 13.4% from Thursday's closing price -- but still up about 83% for the week. 

So what

Kandi's stock price jumped 140% on Wednesday afternoon, after the company said that it will launch two of its small electric cars in the United States at a virtual event on Aug. 18. Interested customers will be able to reserve the Kandis with a $100 deposit at that time, the company said.

The two cars that Kandi plans to bring to the U.S. are hardly Teslas. They're both urban commuter cars with small battery packs and, shall we say, modest performance. Kandi's U.S. flagship, the K23, is an upright four-door hatchback with an estimated range of 188 miles, a price of about $30,000 before incentives, and a very un-Tesla top speed of just 70 mph. 

A white Kandi K23, a stubby four-door electric hatchback, at a charging station

Kandi's K23 doesn't look or perform like a Tesla, but it will cost considerably less. Image source: Kandi Technologies.

That doesn't stack up well against the Chevrolet Bolt or Nissan Leaf, both of which offer better range, top speeds more appropriate to U.S. highways, and nationwide service networks -- and build quality that is known to be high -- for not much more money.

Kandi's other U.S.-bound model, the simpler and cheaper K27, is definitely intended as a city car: It has estimated range of around 100 miles, a price of $20,000 before incentives, and a top speed of 63 mph. 

Now what

It's no surprise that the company's stock soared on Wednesday's news, given the intense investor interest in electric-vehicle stocks in recent months triggered by Tesla's massive run-up earlier in 2020. Nobody wants to miss out on the next Tesla -- but on closer examination, Kandi might not be the right horse to bet on in that race. 

I think auto investors have been doing that closer examination and that's why Kandi's stock fell back on Friday.